My First Love
by Amin Motin
It was strange, viewing the clearing in the forest where I first found love. I’ve often wondered if it had changed since then.
13 summers ago – how short a span of time that seems. And yet how remote. But the memory of that summer was as fresh as the grass in the meadow.
Gabrielle had been every boy’s dream in school, so when she agreed to go on a date with me I was in shock. I only suggested a walk in the forest because my family were poor and I had no money. Gabrielle thought it was very romantic.
That first time we went she gently slipped her hand into mine. Floating on gossamer I squeezed, gently, and smiled at her.
For six weeks we would visit every day – sometimes spending the whole day together. Gabrielle made my heart soar in a way I could never understand.
I was 12 and Gabrielle was 13, but in many ways I was much wiser than she was. Funny to think that we never even kissed that summer. But then real love has so many other ways to express itself.
It was a difficult thing, seeing the clearing again. The day Gabrielle died I vowed never to come back. But never is such a long time. I was 13 - I thought my heart would never mend.
I place the single rose in the centre of the clearing with my hand-written note.
“Forever, Gabrielle. Forever."